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Hero dog drags deadly cottonmouth snake away from his guardian's feet

Dogart_thumb By Ellen | October 10, 2012 | Comments (5)

Dante survived being bitten by a deadly cottonmouth snake

A black Labrador Retriever mix saved his guardian's life by pulling away a deadly cottonmouth snake that was about to to bite her foot. Gudrun Mastriano and her dog Dante were walking in a park near downtown Kissimmee, Florida when she noticed a short fat snake right in front of her. Without hesitating, Dante pulled the snake away from her before it could strike. Instead, the snake turned on Dante. "It turned around and went viciously after Dante," Gudrun told ABC Action News. "Bit him in the snout and bit him in the foot."

Dante was bitten three times, and almost immediately, Dante's body began to react to the venom. His paws swelled up and his head became enormous. The poison was killing him rapidly. He was rushed to an animal hospital and given antivenom and blood transfusions, and his three wounds were treated.

Fortunately, he was also the first dog to receive special oxygenated treatment in a newly installed hyperbaric chamber at the SPCA animal hospital in Lakeland. The chamber was installed just last week and helps heal damaged cells caused by poisons such as snake venom. Dante received several sessions which have helped him heal dramatically. Although Dante will have spots around his neck and feet with necrosis (tissue death), the hyperbaric chamber will help minimize the damage. Dante will have battle scars from his run in with the cottonmouth, but he will be forever a hero in the eyes of his guardian. 

"It could have been me," Gudrun said. "Dante came in front of me and pulled the snake away. He saved me."

View more articles in: Community News

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Comments on this Article

Wow, Gudrun is so lucky to have Dante. What an amazing dog. He is definitely a canine hero.
Dante is a hero and a wonderful dog. Gudrun Mastriano is lucky to have him. But I must protest the remarks of Tony Bothwell. It is not necessary to denigrate one animal when praising another. Cats cannot all be put into one category - there are many stories of cats saving their people, too, so stop being so bigoted against them!
I I often tell people, "A dog will give his life to defend yours without a second thought, a cat will run away at the first sign of danger. We can only try to be worthy of such selfless devotion."
Such a good boy, a hero and thanks to the spca getting what is needed to help these babies.
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